How was your Thanksgiving? To be honest, I was thoroughly unprepared for the day. It snuck up on me, even though I knew it was coming. I think with all the adjustments, I was barely getting used to cooking dinner for all of us, much less preparing to host our family's annual gathering. Oh well. Anah enjoyed her time. Here she is, enjoying her first taste of turkey and mashed potatoes! (We did have some Chinese noodles for her too on the side, which she clearly enjoyed much more.) With yet another holiday coming up close behind, I am determined to be a little more prepared. As cooking is such a big part of our lives as moms, I was particularly pleased to receive this month's Gabby Moms review product, entitled Cooking Extravaganza. This is a collection of 7 e-books and 1 softcover book (shipped separately), What's For Dinner, Mom?, which I reviewed earlier this year. From bulk cooking to filling those bottomless pits in your home, as well as pizza to salads to cookies to breakfasts, I was pleasantly surprised by the many practical tips and recipes Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement (and friends) included in the set.
- What you can do with milk that is marked past the freshness date
- What sucanet is
- How to keep raisins from sinking to the bottom of your baked goods
- How to soften dried out brown sugar
- Why pizza dough needs to rest for best results (sounds like me!)
- How to prevent freezer burn in your frozen meals
- And more!
I think my favorite one was the Pizza Primer from Briana van der Veen. In it, she goes through each of the four components of a pizza: dough, sauce, cheese and toppings, and walks you through the options for each one. She also includes recipes for a homemade dough and sauce, one that I am eager to try. I also didn't know that you could freeze the unbaked dough and use it another evening. Perfect! I enjoyed the book's conversational style--it was like having a friend walk you through the process. If I can figure a way out how to stock up my freezer with toppings, sauce and dough, I can easily pull out a dinner the kids would love during the busy season.
Another e-book I really enjoyed was Lorrie's Favorite Recipes. I loved her idea of adding 10 new recipes to our family's favorites list each year. It will keep me trying new things, and as those new favorites surface, I can begin to incorporate them into our meal lineup. Lorrie also gives us 10 recipes that made the cut in 2011 for us to start with. I always enjoy trying meals that other families have enjoyed and building our recipe collection that way.
With the addition of Anah, meal preparation has been pushed up a notch. She will eat just about everything we give her, but she definitely likes variety. Not only that, as the kids grow, they like to eat more! The books gave me some new ideas, as well as reminded me of some things I had forgotten. Whether you stay home or not, these books will give you a good foundation in developing healthy, filling and frugal meals for your family. Even if you do not care for the recipes (more American fare), you can extract principles from them to use in developing your own family's menus.
- Cost: regularly $52.97, but available at this time for $19.97
- If you're interested in giving this as a gift, make sure to place your order by Dec.12 to ensure What's For Dinner, Mom? arrives before Christmas. All others are e-books and are downloadable immediately.
- Lorrie will be giving away a copy of this set at her blog, Randy's Rib. You can enter to win there. A winner will be picked by Dec. 1 so don't wait!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Cooking Extravaganza Bundle at no cost to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.